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Putting it in writing. Written assessment reports for parents.
  1. J W Partridge


    Parents of children attending for comprehensive assessment at a multidisciplinary child development centre were given written reports summarising the results of the assessment and their reactions to the reports were noted. Ninety eight of 115 parents were satisfied, 7 needed further explanation, 11 had some moderate difficulty, 9 parents found the written reports upsetting, and 8 found them very useful, on 133 occasions when reports were used. The assessment report prepared for the parents was compared with that provided for the family doctor. Parents' reports were shorter, less technical, often had fewer results expressed numerically, and were sometimes modified so that the information was less distressing. This modification of information raises ethical questions and is not always effective. The assessment team had some reservations about providing written reports but now feel that although judgement is needed in preparing these, reports are a useful addition to the assessment process. Written reports cannot, however, replace face to face consultation and counselling.

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